Be mine, Vermilionville Valentine

by Anna Purdy

To the bitter, this day celebrates a diapered chubby kid who makes like Dennis the Menace with wings and wants to hit you in the face with a sharp, pointed object. To those ensconced in snuggles, this is Valentine's Day, and if you have a honey to feed in elegance you may want to consider Cafe Vermilionville.

Cafe Vermilionville is one of the oldest and without a doubt finest white linen eateries in Acadiana. Tonight it features a special menu.

Starters are the BLT Salad featuring fresh Maine lobster on a bed of arugula and enhanced with snappy prosciutto, crawfish beignets with pickles and mustard aoli, a duet of oysters or bacon-wrapped shrimp.

Entrees are where things start to get dangerous.

Try the bone-in veal chop with a savory bread pudding made with apples and brie, a grilled Belgian endive and a green peppercorn brandy cream. There is a 16-ounce ribeye served with roasted potatoes and asparagus with an herbed demi-glace. The Steak Louis XIII is a royal experience: this is a filet stuffed with Louisiana crawfish tails, bacon and cheeses then topped with a wild mushroom glace and a crawfish mornay sauce, with sides of mashed potatoes and jumbo asparagus.

For those veering away from turf, there is the fresh scallops paired with a sweet potato and tasso hash drizzed with chive oil and balsamic or the Fish Acadien dish, which has the freshest fish du jour covered in jumbo lump crab meat with risotto and a lemon dill sauce with asparagus. Try also the fish du jour with smoked shrimp potatoes, mushrooms and a buerre blanc.

For The Ind's pick it might just have to be Cafe V's take on the classic filet au poivre. The filet has a blueberry and merlot reduction and the sides of white chocolate mashed potatoes and smothered cabbage. No, the potatoes are not sweet. The white chocolate merely adds a creamy backbone and livens up a standard dish.

Call Cafe Vermilionville at 237-0100 to make reservations.